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President Eisenhower with the 43-pound Kentucky colonel turkey

President Eisenhower (left) seems highly pleased with the 43-pound Kentucky colonel turkey from the blue-grass state, presented to him at the White House by Peary Browning (right) of Winchester, Kentucky, president of the National Turkey Federation on Nov. 17, 1954. The Thanksgiving bird was selected from a flock of 100,000 at Browning’s farm. (Photo: Bettmann/Corbis/Getty Images)

Presidential turkey pardons: A look back

The presidential pardon of the Thanksgiving turkey has become an annual event, but the peace pact between the fowl and the White House is a relatively new thing. And in fact, a few presidents actually ate their guests!

The first president to unofficially pardon a turkey was Abraham Lincoln, who instructed the White House to save a bird given to the president. Lincoln’s son had grown fond of the bird (and the president was a big animal lover).

But Lincoln didn’t start a tradition, and neither did President Harry S. Truman, who is often credited as the father of the presidential turkey pardon. (National Constitution Center)

Here’s a look back from Truman to Trump.

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